The Power To Build a Good Life
Frequently we hear from people who are eager to tell us why it is they can’t fix their alcohol problem right now. They explain that their life is out of their control, their employers are cutting back, their spouses are sabotaging them, and their desire to quit drinking is being thwarted by powers beyond their control.
Mostly they want to explain that none of it is their fault – or responsibility. And many of the callers we’re hearing seem to be getting used to being sick and tired. Too many are getting too comfortable with the excuse that life is hard, times are tough, and pretending that there’s nothing to be done about it.
Like all excuses it’s just that, an excuse, not a reason.Yes, there is a lot of turmoil in the world – from earthquakes to tsunamis to civil war in the middle east. There’s housing prices and unemployment and crime and illness.
Too often we get lost in the anxiety of it all.
Except, we encourage you to notice that, most of the time, none of these events happen to you personally. In mostcases, if they weren’t on the news you wouldn’t even be aware of them.
Despite what’s happening “out there”, we really do decide how to live our lives. We choose our diets, our friends and how to spend our time. We know our preferences and values and, mostly, our actions determine our outcomes.
If we get up early, work hard, stay focused and measure our progress by our results, most of the time things actually do go well.
Yes, we do live in a shrinking world, communications being what they are. But we really live in a much smaller “real” made up of a few family members, friends, colleagues, clients, and associates.
That’s really no different than when I spent 5 years in a dying gold mining camp of 100 people on the Yukon River – a camp without roads, telephones, TV, or any of communications we now take for granted.
But then, as now, the quality of life is determined by what we make of each day. Our success is determined by doing the things we know are useful, undistracted by the news, worry, or gossip.
We believe it’s the same for you.
Successful clients focus on what they can control and the choices they make. They take full responsibility for leaving their alcohol abuse behind but they don’t dwell on the past. They plan for a better future and do what they can today to get there.
Let your focus be on your life, family, friends and activities, interests, and work. You do have the power to make a difference.
Start where you are, do well, and build on that. It’s enough.
There are times when I find myself in the same quandaries you may be in – what should I do and when should I do it?
Lose that 7 lbs I gained over Christmas?
Complete the restoration of the TR-8?
Pay off some short term debt (not compatible with the question above)?
Often it doesn’t actually matter and what I may actually be doing is putting off doing anything productive about any of the decisions I might actually make.
That’s one of alcohol’s most seductive features – it helps us defer making choices, as though choosing not to decide weren’t a choice. Of course the biggest option it helps us ignore is the choice to leave alcohol, and an alcohol focused life, behind.
Why do we do this?
Mostly because we find it easier to keep on doing what we’ve always done than it is to change – even though change would have obvious benefits. It’s why smokers keep on puffing away even though there are no benefits beyond not going through the brief misery of quitting.
Your drinking? It’s a good short term comfort and escape even when the long term costs begin showing up, as they usually do for women in their 40s and men in their 50s, if not sooner.
There are also the worries we keep trying to convince ourselves are real:
- Will I ever have sex again if I quit drinking?
- How can I not drink a toast at my daughter’s wedding?
- How can I go out to dinner?
- What will everyone think?
And so on through a laundry list of excuses for not making a positive change that will benefit everything from our relationships (yes, sex included) to our health, our work, our moods, and our wallets.
We all become entrenched in our day-to-day habits and routines and the idea of changing them is hard to act on, no matter how much better the new habits will be.
We work hard to ignore the fact that new, fun, productive, life enhancing changes will very soon become the new day-to-day habits and routines. Frankly, good habits are almost as easy to maintain as self-destructive ones and a whole lot more enjoyable!
Isn’t it time to start making that switch? Of course it is and it starts with one tiny little change – instead of just reading about change, you finally make that call and start talking to us about the options and possibilities.
That’s right – just call.